Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 421–439 | Cite as

Lottery Ticket Preferences as Indicated by the Variation in the Number of Winners

Original Paper

Abstract

Many gamblers believe that it is possible to find a strategy to beat the lottery including selecting numbers that are due to come up or looking for a bias in past numbers. In this paper, we examine sales figures and variations in the number of winners for the various prize levels of a popular Canadian lottery to detect lottery ticket preferences. It was determined that the lottery outcomes conformed well to a random outcome. No evidence of either a bias myth or due to come up myth was found. However ticket popularity indicated a marked preference for the number 7 and low numbers, and the avoidance of high numbers and adjacent numbers. In addition we found a linear and a quadratic relationship between past frequency of the numbers and ticket popularity indicating a belief in both the due to come up and the bias myths. The findings suggest strong non-random preferences in the selection of lottery numbers.

Keywords

Erroneous beliefs Lottery Gambling Random chance Gamblers fallacy 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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